A Million-pound business in ONE AFTERNOON.
We at Third Millennium Man want you our readers to have the best of everything. To be the best at everything. To this end, we try to provide you with tools we believe will help you to make that happen. And boy oh boy, this article ought to put fire in your belly. We have all dreamed big dreams; of the big car, the big bank account, the bikini-clad girls aboard our yacht in Monaco; and here is something that we believe might just make it work. This article is to show you how you – yes you – can make a start on your very own million-pound business, at your PC, in one single afternoon.
The following is an extract from a Third Millennium Man Training Course that’s currently being pieced together. At the end, you’ll be invited to register your interest in this course; there’s no obligation, naturally, we’re just trying to get a handle on things and a little bit of feedback from this taster. We’ll let you know when it’s ready.
You need more than just a great product to succeed in business. Ideally, you want hordes of wealthy customers, eager to buy your product. Work out what those wealthy customers want, find a way to give it to them, and you’ve got yourself a million-pound business. Follow these four steps, and you will have created a great product, found the hordes of wealthy customers, and measured how likely they are to buy from you.
Before anybody asks, this article is NOT going to put a seven-figure sum into your bank account in one evening. If that’s what you’re thinking, then read the headline again (yes there are ways in which you can put a million in your bank account in one afternoon, but that’s a whole different can o’ worms which we’ll be looking at another time). This is about coming up with an idea for a million-pound business product that you can sell online, testing to see if the market is there for it, seeing if people can afford it, and checking it will work. It can all be done from your PC, in one afternoon, mostly for free. Here are the methods you need, the tools you need, and everything else. It’s about as risk-free as we can make it. Get these things right, and the money will soon follow. For convenience, we’ve broken it down into FOUR steps. Steps 1 – 3 shouldn’t take too long. Step 4 is worth taking a little time to get right.
Our legal team have asked us to remind you that this article is information only, and does not constitute ‘business advice’. If you decide to act on it, then that’s your own choice. Third Millennium Man is not entitled to a share in your profits, nor are we liable for your losses. The success or failure of any business venture is down to you.
And if you think this article is good, remember – it’s only a taster of what’s in our Third Millennium Man course. There’s a heck of a lot more good stuff to come.
So, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Step 1: Come up with that good idea for a product.
It all starts with a good idea for a product. That doesn’t necessarily mean knocking up a gadget with a few hand tools in the back of your garage; it means coming up with something that people will want, and will be prepared to spend their money on.
So sit down and make a list of TEN things that people might buy and will turn you a profit.
Stuck already? Then try one of these four methods to fire your imagination:
Take a look at what the Top Selling products on Amazon are.
You can find out what the best-selling products in the UK are here; for Amazon worldwide, try here. Don’t just take the easy option and try to copy or undercut people selling these items (if it’s already ‘all the rage’ then you’ve missed the boat) but try and think outside the box. Can you come up with something that compliments those products, or enhances them in some way? iPhone Apps and cases are a great example. And look at all the complimentary books that surround the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter, the DaVinci Code, the Holy Bible….
Look at the things you do as a part of your daily routine.
Anything you do over and over again has the potential for streamlining and improvement. You use somebody else’s million-pound business ideas every day, probably without even realising it. Remember, somebody had to invent the toothbrush, the biro, toilet paper…..
Make a note of things you use but aren’t happy with.
There are so many Apps, gadgets & whatnot that have been created through frustration, there just isn’t the time or space here to do them justice. Pretty much anything can be made better, faster, cheaper, bigger, smaller, prettier. Necessity? No, desperation is the mother of invention. Think about what seriously ticks you off, and use that as a launch pad to come up with a million-pound business idea to fix it.
Digital products are usually the best choice. By ‘digital’ we mean something that can be downloaded or emailed. It can be music, video, software, an App, a written document, pictures, and so much more. The advantages are that you don’t need to buy product in advance, store unsold product, worry about postage costs; best of all, you can fulfill demand, should your hot new product sell like hot cakes. Create your own digital product, or hire someone to do it for you. We at Third Millennium Man like the idea of creating new Apps for phones. You can outsource the actual creation of your App, to your design brief, for next to nothing if you know where to look (examples are SEO Clerks and Fiverr though there are loads more to choose from, at varying prices and varying qualities). You’ll have to pay the Google marketplace and iTunes fees yourself though.
Read THIS book.
It’s one of our recommended reads here at Third Millennium Man and we’ve even made it easy for you to click the link and get your copy. Although we’d strongly recommend buying the printed version (for convenience, easy reference, and the ease of make notes in the margin) you can still buy the Kindle version if you’re hell-bent on getting wheels turning this afternoon. What are you waiting for? Order it already…
Step 2: Find £1,000,000 worth of potential customers.
So you’ve found what you think could be a great business idea? Congratulations. Here is the next stage where we find out if there are enough people out there who might want to buy your product. We want to make sure that the market we’re hoping to break into isn’t shrinking, and we want to make sure it does OK when we compare it with similar markets.
The best tools you can use for this are Google Trends and Google Insights, which are both completely free of charge (note: you’ll need to sign up to use Google Insights). Their purpose is to help you evaluate the growth potential of your target market.
Some advocate using Facebook ads but bear in mind that any campaign is going to cost you money to run. It has its uses, but that will come much later on in Stage 4.
Those Google tools look a bit daunting, don’t they? So let’s look at an example of how to use them.
My daughter is absolutely mad about Pugs.
They don’t really do much for me to be honest, but she would absolutely love it if I were to create a business that sold an item online that would be of interest to Pug owners.
The following is how I would use Google Trends and Google Insights to see if there are enough Pug-loving customers around who might like to buy my product online.
Search Google Trends for the term “Pug” and other similar words such as “poodle” and “dogs” as a direct comparison. You can see the results here.
We can see that the word “pug” has a decent search volume (though less than the generic “dogs”), and roughly on a par with “poodle”. By using different timescales, we can observe that online interest, according to Google, has been quite stable over a considerable length of time. We can also see which countries love Pugs the most, meaning we know which countries to target our product at.
Double-check on Google Insights, if you have an account.
Whilst Google Trends can tell you a lot of really useful, detailed information; how many Google searches have been made on a subject, where they originated from, when they were made, side-by-side comparisons with other searches; Google Insights gives a slightly deeper level of detail. It can even identify what people were actually searching for (news, gossip, images, shopping, that sort of thing) so it’s down to you to decide if it’s worth having an account with them for this purpose or not.
Look at the total number of people available on Facebook for dogs, in Google Insights. At 9.24 million Facebook users, it’s looking good. But what about Pugs?
The results are staggering.
Over ONE MILLION PEOPLE.
Just look at the Facebook Groups: just one picked from the top of the list, Pugs Are Us, has over half a million members, and there are loads more Groups than just this one.
You can also see if there is a larger website that you can climb on board. Paypal did this with eBay; AirBnb is doing it with Craigslist home listings; AppSumo pays to advertise its wares to over 100 million LinkedIn users.
It could be as simple as listing your product on eBay. If you can find a comparable site with a large number of potential customers, and you can buy advertising space, you’ll be ready for action in no time.
Step 3: Assess your customer’s value.
Once you’ve found your idea and a big pool of potential customers, you’ll need to calculate the value of those customers to you. For our example above, we’ll need to estimate how much a Pug dog owner (i.e. our customer) is already spending on Pugs. This will help us determine the likelihood of them actually buying our product, and will also help with pricing. Here’s how we do that:
- Find out how much it costs, on average, to buy a Pug. My daughter absolutely loves Pugs for some reason, so I’m reminded of the base cost every Christmas and birthday, which is around £1,000.
- See how much it costs to maintain and feed a Pug each year (i.e. recurring costs). According to the experts, that’s going to be £626-£1,136. That’s an average of £881.
- Look up their life expectancy, which in our case is 12 – 15 years. In other words, that’s the number of times a Pug owner will have to pay those recurring costs. The average is 13½ years.
Therefore, a Pug’s average total cost of ownership is:
£1,000 + (13.5 x £881) = £12,823.50
To me, that seems a lot for a hair-dropping turd-machine that ruins your best slippers. But there you go. I’m just not a dog person.
In any case, these owners are already committing to spend a LOT of money on their dogs (i.e. they are valuable) and probably value the dogs in many other ways too. After splashing out a grand on buying the mutt, plus an average of £70 each month on keeping it alive and healthy, spending £35 on a jaw-droppingly good product that could help them train their Pug – or save money, or create a better relationship between them, keep them healthier for longer, etc. – doesn’t seem to be that bad a proposition. Of course, the product doesn’t have to cost £35, but we now have some kind of a direction, and maybe a little wiggle-room on the pricing.
Now we need to utilize the TAM formula (the Total Available Market formula), which will help us see our product’s potential to generate a million pounds in sales.
Here’s the TAM formula for estimating your idea’s potential:
(Number of available customers) x (Value of each customer) = TAM
If TAM is greater than £1,000,000, then you can start your business.
Let’s plug in some basic numbers to see the TAM for our Pug product:
(1,000,000 available customers, from Step 3) x (£35 product) = £35,000,000
Congratulations folks. We’ve made it.
Before we get too excited, the reality is that you are NEVER going to reach 100% market penetration. But please bear in mind the following:
- This is only through Facebook traffic (in other words, we’re only looking at reaching out to facebook users right now). Once this ball is rolling, there are other cards to play, such as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat…
- This does not include the 20,000,000+ monthly Google searches for “pugs”.
- This is only for one breed of dog. If you find success with Pugs, you can easily repeat the process many times with other supposedly cute little dog breeds. Just as long as I don’t have to touch one.
- This is only for one product. It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire new ones, so once we’ve built up a decent customer base, we can make even more products to sell to them. Experts in this game will already have a second, third, and fourth product waiting in the wings.
The reality of it is that at this stage it looks as if we have found our million-pound business idea.
Gentlemen, it is time to bring in the big guns. Let’s invest a few quid now, and check, once and for all, that our idea IS going to work. Deep breaths now…
Step 4: Validate your idea.
So pinch yourself. So far, you’ve come up with a really cool business idea. We’ve checked that there IS a market for it. We are so close to actually achieving our goal now.
But there’s still one last hurdle to jump. It’s time to find out whether people are actually going to spend their money on your product. In other words, we need to prove that your business idea is truly commercially viable.
This step is absolutely crucial. All your hopes, dreams and ambitions depend upon getting this right. A lot of your ideas will seem great down on paper, but you’ll never know if they’re going to bring in the money until you actually test your target market’s willingness to pay.
We have to make a few small, calculated gambles. We need to spend just a little money in order to test and validate your business idea. In other words, we’re going to do a trail run. This investment is absolutely essential for saving time and money in the long term, which will ultimately allow you to test as many of your ideas as possible and collate your results in a meaningful way so that you can interpret them and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Before you start panicking from the use of the word ‘gamble’ let me just explain my choice of terminology. We’ve done a lot of work so far to make sure things are working in our favour. Spending this money on some tests – maybe a few hundred pounds, certainly less than a grand, depending upon how many tests you run – will go a long way to ensuring larger sums are not wasted by just diving in with both feet. Think about it; you’re bringing a potential million-pound business idea to market, for the outlay of a few hundred pounds. There aren’t that many investments that can bring about such returns, or where you don’t actually invest any money at all until you’re this far down the line.
Here are a couple of the methods the professionals use for rapidly validating whether people will buy your product or not:
Advertise your product on eBay.
Obviously, you can’t take anyone’s money. You’ll have to cancel any auctions you’re running at the last minute, and pay any eBay fees you incur (likely to be pennies). On the flip side, you can run a range of experiments over time, seeing what Sales Message wording works and what doesn’t. You’ve already got excellent traffic (thank you eBay) so that side of things is already done for you. Look at the number of bids you get rather than Watchers. Watchers aren’t spending any money. You’ll also get a handle on pricing, and of course see what other people are selling.
Drive traffic to a basic sales page.
This is the method that’s been tried most of all by successful Internet Start-ups. It seems like a lot of work the first time that you do it, but it’s easily repeatable the more times that you repeat the task. It gives you cast-iron, dependable results upon which to base your decisions.
All you need to do is set up an attractive sales page using WordPress, create a few well-worded adverts to run on Google and/or Facebook, and then evaluate your conversion rate for ad-clicks and collecting email addresses.
You are not looking for people to buy; you are not actually in a position where you can start taking money from people yet. You are simply determining interest and gathering data.
Okay, a little more detail. You can set up a WordPress website in a few minutes, free of charge (though if you’ve been down this road before, you might like to buy a domain and set up a professional-looking, bona fide website). Upload a template, write your sales pitch, and get it out there. There’s your sales page.
First, let’s take a look at Facebook advertising. £100 can get you around 100,000 people seeing the advert you’ve just created; expect something like 80 of them to visit your site and possibly leave you their email address.
Google Adwords works in a different way. Once again there isn’t really the space to go into this in any real depth, but here are the basics to using CPC and CRM to make you million-pound business idea work.
- CPC stands for ‘cost per click’.
- CPM means ‘cost per impression’.
Let me explain the difference. Let’s say I set up a simple Ad with very generic targeting.
This advert will be designed to target users:
- Who are USA residents (I’ve already decided on a digital product, so geography isn’t an issue)
- Aged 18 and over
- Who are not already connected to my company’s website or my company’s Facebook page.
With CPC a lot of people MIGHT see it, depending on the amount of my bid (the lower the bid, the less likely my Ad will be to feature in Google search results). Google charges me every time somebody clicks on my Ad. Let’s say my bid is £4 per click; my 80 website visitors (who have clicked my Ad) will have cost me £320 (yes you can place a limit on it).
Now let’s look at CPM. If M is the roman numeral for 1000, then the letters stand for ‘Cost Per 1000’ meaning how much you pay for your advert to appear 1000 times. With CPM I bid for 1000 people to see my advert. At current levels, I’d bid between 24p and 45p per thousand. So my 100,000 Ad impressions will cost me £24 – £45. Assuming I’ve taken the trouble to create a decent advert and have a suitable website, a 0.08% conversion rate giving me 80 website visitors isn’t unreasonable.
Of course this is a simple example I’ve created on the spot. What I actually do is to target specific terms and keywords, with the intention of keeping my Conversion Rate or Click Through Rate (depending upon which one you use) higher, and my cost-per-sale lower. That way, I’m only paying for quality traffic. I’d also experiment with different wording on the Ads, bid amounts, and even website colour schemes. When it’s 100% right, you have a payment method lined up, and your product is absolutely ready to take to market, you can dive in with both feet.
If you’re serious about this, it will be absolutely worth your while to research CPA Marketing. Entire courses, a wealth of YouTube videos, and countless books are easily available for you, allowing you to get a better grasp of how this whole Online Marketing thing works. Study up – you can earn some serious money through this business method.
Email 100 people you know who would want to buy your ‘product’, and ask them to send their payment via Paypal.
Yes, I know. It sounds crazy. But all you are doing is seeing what the response will be. If a few of them send payment, great! You now have validation and can build the product and send it to them (or you can refund your friends’ money and buy them all beers for playing along). If they don’t bite, figure out why they aren’t interested.
Remember, the goal is to get validation for your million-pound business idea, not to lose your friends or your LinkedIn contacts.
Your million-pound business idea is now ready for take-off.
Now, one of three things is going to happen.
Either your million-pound business idea is going to bomb. It doesn’t make any money at all. In which case, you’ve lost a few hundred quid maybe, some time, but learned a heck of a lot. Our advice would be to check things back, and see where you went wrong.
Your million-pound business could take off like a rocket. Well done. Now you’ve crossed the buying threshold with a huge number of people, line up a range of subsequent, complimentary products they also need. Get ’em while they’re hot.
The most likely scenario is that your million-pound business works, but isn’t generating a million pounds. There’s enough orders coming in to keep you interested, but the holiday home salesman is going to have to wait for your order a little bit longer.
If this is the case, DON’T PANIC. All you have to do is a little fine-tuning.
Go back to basics. Something isn’t quite there; it could be your Sales Message, it could be your website. It could be that your price is too high, maybe even too low for folks to take seriously. Maybe it’s your Facebook Ads that need reworking, or your Google Adwords needs a tweak. Whatever can be measured, can be managed, so now’s the time to slip into ‘fine-tuning’ mode and run a few more experiments. Do some A/B testing to find out what works and what doesn’t. You’ve come this far, so keep going. You’ll get it eventually.
So now you’ve got your million-pound business under way, and it’s earning you a fortune. You’ve quit your job. What do you do next?
Start all over again and have TWO million-pound business ideas running! Only this time, you know how to do it better…
THANK YOU for reading – we hope you have enjoyed this extract from our Third Millennium Man course. We’ve got a load more up our sleeves, which compliments everything you’ve learned here, making your million-pound business more efficient, less time-consuming, more profitable, and more fun. If you’d like to know more, please use the Contact page to register your interest, so we can let you know when the course comes out, what format it will take, that kind of thing. You’re under NO OBLIGATION to buy it!
Got an opinion on what you’ve read here? Why not leave a comment in the box below, and share the joy. Constructive comments only please gents, and no spamming!